Mastering the Double Six: The Power of Doubles in Dominoes

In the world of dominoes, one concept reigns supreme—doubles. Doubles are the tiles with the same number of pips on both ends, and among them, the double six holds a special place. Whether you’re new to the game or an experienced player looking to enhance your strategy, understanding the power of doubles in dominoes is essential. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of double tiles, how they influence your gameplay, and their role in the crucial opening move. Get ready to master the double six and gain a competitive edge in your dominoes matches.

The Domino Basics

Before we delve into the world of doubles, let’s review some basic domino terminology and rules:

  • Tiles: A standard set of dominoes consists of 28 rectangular tiles. Each tile has two squares, and each square can have zero to six dots, or pips, representing numbers.
  • Doubles: Doubles are tiles with the same number of pips on both ends. For instance, the double six has six pips on both ends, making it the highest double in the set.
  • Playing Surface: The dominoes are played on a flat and stable surface, typically a table, and the game proceeds in a clockwise direction.
  • Matching Pips: The core rule in dominoes is matching the pips on your tiles with those on the table. A tile can only be played if it matches the open ends of the tiles on the table.

The Significance of Double Tiles

Doubles are a powerful element in dominoes for several reasons:

  1. Starting the Game: In many variations of dominoes, the player with the highest double tile goes first. If no player has a double, the player with the highest overall tile begins the game. The double six, being the highest double, often secures the opening move.
  2. Blocking Opponents: Doubles, especially the double six, can be strategically placed to block your opponents. For example, if you play a double six early in the game, it can limit your opponents’ options and potentially force them to draw tiles from the boneyard.
  3. Creating Chains: Doubles are excellent for starting chains of tiles with matching numbers. This can be a tactical advantage as it opens up opportunities for more plays in subsequent turns.
  4. The Spinner: Some domino games feature a designated spinner tile, often a specific double. The spinner can be played in multiple directions, allowing for branching chains and diverse strategies.

The Role of the Double Six in the Opening Move

In dominoes, the opening move sets the tone for the game. The choice of the initial tile can significantly impact the flow of the match. Here’s how the double six factors into the opening move:

  1. Highly Valued Opening Move: The double six is the highest double tile, making it a valuable choice for the opening move. Playing the double six immediately establishes your dominance in the game.
  2. Blocking Potential: The double six, when played early, can serve as a block to your opponents. It limits their options by requiring them to match the number six on one end, and this strategic placement can disrupt their plans.
  3. Strategic Variations: Some players prefer to save their double six for later in the game, using it to create chains or as a response to their opponents’ plays. However, using it as an opening move can be a powerful strategy if done tactically.

Strategies for Playing the Double Six

To master the double six, consider these strategies:

  1. Assess the Situation: Before making the opening move, assess the situation on the table. Consider your opponents’ tiles and potential strategies.
  2. Blocking or Chain Building: Decide whether you want to use the double six as a block to disrupt your opponents or as a starting point for building chains of tiles with matching numbers.
  3. Mind the Spinner: If your game variation uses a spinner, think about how playing the double six may influence the spinner’s role and potential directions.
  4. Long-Term Planning: Keep in mind that the double six can be a valuable asset throughout the game. Plan how you want to use it in subsequent turns to maintain control.

Variations and House Rules

It’s important to note that dominoes have numerous variations and house rules. In some games, the double six may have a unique significance or role that differs from standard rules. Before starting a game, it’s a good practice to clarify the specific rules and any variations with your fellow players.


The double six is more than just a tile with six pips on both ends; it’s a strategic powerhouse in the world of dominoes. Understanding its significance and how to use it to your advantage, especially in the opening move, can elevate your gameplay and give you a competitive edge.

As you gain experience and continue to play, you’ll discover the nuanced strategies and tactics associated with the double six. So, whether you’re aiming to block your opponents, build chains of matching tiles, or strategically employ the double six in your games, mastering its power is a valuable skill for any dominoes enthusiast. Happy playing, and may the double six be your key to victory!

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